Summary: There is a principle that we see throughout Scripture – God looks beyond the action or service to the cost involved. Mark 12:41-44
The Cost Of Compassionate Caring
1. Ladies, what if your husband brought you home a beautiful bouquet of flowers? You would be touched and moved by his kindness and thoughtfulness. Then he says, “Yeah, they delivered them to the office by mistake. We had to get them out of there today so they asked me to bring them home.” Ladies, are you still touched?
• It didn’t cost him anything (time or money), so it doesn’t mean anything.
2. There is a principle that we see throughout Scripture – God looks beyond the action or service to the cost involved. Mark 12:41-44 God doesn’t simply ask, “What did we do?” The question God considers is “What was the cost?”
• Illustration: Reference 1 Chronicles 21:18-24 and 2 Samuel 24:18-24. King David understood this principle, and when he went to buy land from a man to erect an altar and worship God, the man said, “Just take it for free.” David said, “No sir – I will not offer to the Lord something that cost me nothing. I will pay you full price.”
• Illustration: Reference Mark 12:41-44. The widow only gave two mites, but Jesus said she gave more in His eyes than all the wealthy people. Why was this? Jesus said, “They cast in of their abundance, but she cast in all that she had, even all her living.”
3. God looks at the cost. In the same way, caring that costs us nothing really isn’t caring. This text before us is known as the story of the Good Samaritan. Jesus told this story in answer to the question “Who is my neighbor?” Read Luke 10:30-37.
4. One thing is clear from this story – compassionate caring will always cost you something, but that’s what the Christian life is all about (vs. 27). How can a person say they love God and not choose to care for wounded and hurting people?
5. Those of us who know Jesus, know His compassion; in dying on the cross for us, He inspires us to reach out and care for others. Ephesians 5:2
6. Believers who love the Lord are willing to pay the cost to compassionately care for others. What does this mean? What do we learn from Jesus’ parable? Compassionate caring means:
There is a willingness to give of yourself.
1. The priest and Levite saw this man and passed by on the other side. Notice in verse 33, the Samaritan saw him and “had compassion on him and went to him.”
2. At that moment, when the Samaritan saw him, there was a conscious decision that had to be made. Do I get involved, or do I look the other way and continue on my way?
3. He allowed his heart to be moved with compassion. The opposite of compassion is to be calloused – hardened, feeling no emotion.
4. When you choose to compassionately care, it means getting in the trenches and getting involved. Notice again, that he had compassion on him, and went to him.
• Illustration: You are on your way to church and a guy is trying to push his car out of the street to gas station. Do you get involved? You don’t know the guy. If it were the pastor, a family member or LIFE Group member you would stop. But this stranger?
5. We tend to like to give of ourselves to people that we feel appreciate it and are worthy of our caring. But the giving in this story is far deeper and Christ-like.
There is a willingness to give of your time.
1. Look at verse 34. Don’t you know this took some time? This Samaritan was on the road from Jerusalem to Jericho. He was heading somewhere to do something. (You don’t head I-4 West for no reason.)
2. It was decision time – do I interrupt my schedule to help this guy? Is this a bother or is it an opportunity? The priest and Levite decided it was a bother. I’m sure they had noble excuses.
• The Levite’s and priest’s thoughts – “I’ve been serving at the temple; I’ve done my part. I need to get home to my family. Let somebody else help. This isn’t my fault. He probably deserved it.”
• Thoughts about the guy who ran out of gas on street – “Serves him right. The dummy should have watched his gas gauge. I’m in my church clothes. I have to get to LIFE Group.” Excuses are never a problem.
• One of the easiest things to do is to do nothing! Somebody once told their pastor, “Pastor, we have a lot of willing people in this church… willing to let somebody else do it.” Illustration: “It’s easier to do nothing.”